GOSHEN — Even though the June 1 hailstorm has long passed, residents are still feeling the effects as insurance claims soar.
"It was the worst hailstorm I can remember in 30 years," Jeff Blue said, owner of Reliance Insurance Agency in Goshen. "Insurance agents in Goshen are getting 5 to 8 claims a week."
Blue speculates most of the heavy damage has been handled, and claims being reported almost two months after the storm are homeowners playing it safe.
"A lot of the obvious damage got reported right away," he said. People often report an insurance claim after seeing a repair company working on neighbors' roofs, he said.
Among the companies busy repairing roofs in Goshen is A&M Home Services, co-owned by Jared McQueen and Mike Alexander out of Plymouth.
"These roofs will have to be replaced eventually," Alexander said while overseeing repairs on a house along Clover Creek Lane, "now insurance is handling it."
Just in Goshen alone, the company has worked with 100 homeowners affected by hail.
Insurance companies will usually pay anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000 to replace storm damage, he said, and most deductibles range from $500 to $1,000.
"What happens is the shingles lose all granules," Alexander said. "The UV protection wears away and they begin to thermal crack."
It's nearly impossible to check for roof damage from the ground, so getting a company to check with a ladder is essential, he said. Both Alexander and Blue advocate against using non-local contractors to fix roofs.
"I tell clients to deal with local only. Use somebody you know," Blue said, warning there are some scams to watch out for with out-of-town contractors, often called "storm chasers."
"Use a contractor you can get referrals on," he said. "There are a few that spoil it for the rest of them."
Ben Mikesell can be reached at email@example.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 328. Follow him on Twitter at @ben_mikesell.